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America’s Cup: Luna Rossa swap crew for electric engines to test sail in Sardinia

Leading Italian website FareVela reports that Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena revealed during an interview that the Italian America’s Cup Challenger had fitted electric motors, replacing six crew, and were able to sail from the teams base in Cagliari, and comply with CoViD-19 social distancing requirements in Italy.

The comment came during the live broadcast of the finals of the Mille Trophy for e-Sailing sail, supporting unconfirmed reports that the team had gone electric on their first AC75.

Italy is currently in a complete lockdown which is due to end on May 3.

According to an auto-translation of the Farevela report, the Luna Rossa skipper told the live broadcast: “We were lucky in some respects because, following all government and regional directives, we managed to keep the ground activities in smart open working, having a minimum of work continuity and being able to make changes that we had already planned and that we decided to anticipate once the ACWS of Cagliari was canceled. Changes for testing and development, to then send the components that we will use during the race to construction.”

“For ten days we have been authorised to return to the water and we have returned to sailing, obviously in a reduced form,” he added.

“We are not doing competitive sports training, but only developing and testing sails and technical solutions for new components. For this reason we go to the water with five crew, we have a series of electric motors that allow us to replace the grinders that produce power and energy in the boat. This allows us to comply with the various spacing and safety rules.

“Seeing a 75ft boat that sails at 40-45 knots with only five people on board managing it is impressive. A lot of work has been done to allow us to continue developing. “

Luna Rossa test trialing off Cagliari with electric motors and face masks – April, 23 2020 – photo © Schermata

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